Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Advent 2015

"Receiving the Good News"


             As I write this Advent devotional we are in the madness of Halloween soon to be replaced by that of Christmas - and the madness of the Georgia-Florida football game soon to be replaced by playoffs.

             Faraway, on the other side of the world, we read of Christians risking their lives trying to reach a new home where they have hope for a better future.  This certainly doesn't look like what the prophets describe in the Old Testament.  And yet, we have hope because the New Testament tells us that Jesus came and brought love, mercy, grace, and peace.  And we who have the benefit of knowing this story, being able to read it in our bibles and hear it preached in church, believe in the promises of the prophets and of Jesus.

But what of those who haven't heard, or can't read, or have no bible of their own?  We are told by the American Bible Society and Wycliffe Translators that there are millions in Africa and the Far East who still have no bible.  This is one need, among many, which God has placed on my heart this Advent.  These agencies have developed new techniques using computers and groups of native people who translate together producing scripture in a much shorter time.  Of course, they need money to implement these techniques.  Even if we cannot give financially, we can pray that others will so these efforts can go forward and "all shall see."

When I was a little girl in the dark days of World War II the postmaster of our little town brought a package to our door on his way home one Christmas Eve.  He felt it might be important to the two little children who lived there.  We were focused only on whether our father would make it home, along with the children of all the other folks working in the Baltimore Ship Yards, which he did long after we had gone to sleep.  But when we opened the postmaster's package on Christmas day there was a beautiful edition of Erdman's Bible Stories, a gift we treasured for years.  How much more must it mean to someone who has never had a bible to receive such a gift?


- Jane Jennings

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